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21 Humans Who Make Being Human Look Really, Really Hard

May, 2008

Great Moments in MMA Product Endorsement

I guess you could call this CagePotato’s first original highlight reel. We rounded up the most insane TV commercials starring MMA fighters and stuffed them into a single video for your convenience and enjoyment. Some of them are beloved classics; some you’ve probably never seen before. Noticeably absent are the unauthorized Fedor Emelianenko honey-drink spot (because we’d like to avoid any rude letters from Fedor’s lawyers), and the Rich Franklin “Xyience Teacher” commercial (because it seems to have disappeared from the Internet). But if we’ve left out any other good ones, shoot us some links in the comments section. As Randy Couture might say, “Oh, you’re gonna like this.”

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Gerald Harris’s ‘TUF 7′ Blog: A Rock and a Hard Face

Jesse Taylor pisses the hot tub, UFC Ultimate Fighter
(Jesse Taylor pisses his shorts on national television.)

Every Thursday morning, Team Rampage member Gerald Harris blogs his reactions to each new episode of The Ultimate Fighter 7 on CagePotato.com. Here’s what he had to say about last night’s ep, in which retard-strong (and retard-smart) Jesse Taylor pounded his way to victory, and Amir Sadollah and Matt Brown put on the best fight of the season.

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By now everyone should know that Jesse Taylor is for real. He’s not the most exciting fighter in the world, but he’s solid and gets the job done. I can’t hate, because I respect winners and he’s also a Team Quest fighter so I was rooting for him. Dante just laid there and took a beating. He’s a veteran in the game and also a brown belt under Ricardo Almeida, so I assumed that he would catch Jesse, but Jesse just punched the [blank] out of him for two full rounds.

Now, let me get to the action! Matt Brown vs. Amir Sadollah was crazy. That’s a fight that people would pay money to watch. I think the first round could be given to Brown for the aggression and last second takedown. Amir seemed to pick up steam in the second round, took Matt down, punished him from the top, and eventually sunk in a triangle choke. I liked the fight because it wasn’t a sloppy slugfest. Brown has a great boxing background and Amir showed his Muay Thai and ground game with the strikes and sub finish. It’s crazy that the more you pressure him, he gets stronger and doesn’t fold — that’s the quality of a good fighter. I can say the same about Brown plus he was very humble in his loss and showed respect for his opponent.

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L.A. Times Takes Aim at UFC Media Policies

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(They don’t make ‘em like this anymore.)

It’s no secret that the UFC loves controlling stuff, especially if that stuff has to do with the media. The L.A. Times has apparently had enough of it. Their Las Vegas blog, The Movable Buffet (get it?), took issue with the UFC’s strict rules following UFC 84 this weekend:

One local journalist who covered Saturday’s Ultimate Fighting Championship card at MGM’s Grand Garden Arena wrote me an e-mail, offering this impression: “UFC attempts to be more controlling than other sports. UFC sounds like it’s trying to hem in media.”

We were discussing his experience as well as the credential application that UFC demanded that I sign to be approved to cover the fight. The application specified everything from the trivial, forbidding my wearing certain clothes, to the ridiculous, controlling where and when I was allowed to write about the event forever more. In explaining this bizarre credential application that most would call not an application but a contract, UFC events manager Diann Brizzolara wrote me: “We have the right to protect our brand and how coverage taken from our events is disseminated.” Actually, UFC does not have that right to control “how coverage taken…is disseminated” at all. This rather unique privilege in fact is what the credential application is trying to give them a back door claim to having.

When you hear these stories about the UFC’s obsession with control, it makes you wonder what they’re so afraid of. Is it a holdover from the dark days when the “human cockfighting” label nearly drove them into extinction? Or is it just that the UFC is leery of the media in general, despite the fact that they need the media in the same way every pro sports organization does: it’s free advertising.

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Gina Carano Has No Idea Where You’re Getting This ‘Sex Symbol’ Stuff

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(Gina pretends not to realize how hot she is.)

Over at Yahoo! Kevin Iole is doing his typical fighter fluff piece, extolling the virtues of Gina Carano and simultaneously forcing a storyline about her sister’s struggle with drug addiction into every possible inch of the article. Seems like someone really took to heart those journalism classes where they discussed ‘theme’.

Anyway, one of the more interesting moments comes when Carano expresses confusion at MMA fans and their preoccupation with her as a sex object:

“All the attention has helped me, but it’s also hurt me,” she said. “Sometimes, you get portrayed the way you don’t want to be portrayed. People start thinking about you a certain way. I’m like, ‘What’s everybody talking about with this sex appeal thing?’ I don’t get it. I’m not that way. I’m not that person and I’m never going to be that girl, because it’s not in me to get people’s attention sexually. But that’s what people are saying out there now.”

I have to ask myself a couple different questions when I read that. For starters, do I believe that Gina Carano doesn’t realize that she is very attractive for a woman in general, and extremely attractive for a successful female athlete? I do not. I’m pretty sure she knows by now. I’m also pretty sure she knows that it’s a big part of the reason she’s getting all these career opportunities outside of MMA while other female fighters toil in relative obscurity.

If my assumptions are correct, then I have to ask myself, why is she being so coy about it? If she realizes that the Maxim photo shoot and the tight American Gladiators outfit were designed to promote her as a sex object, why is she pretending to be surprised? The answer, I suspect, is that no matter how great the money and attention is, it probably gets really annoying to have everyone focus on only one thing about you, especially if that one thing is your looks.

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Changes to UFC 85, Additions to UFC 87

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(Carneiro and Chonan during a DEEP match in 2005, which ended in a controversial TKO loss for Carneiro due to a cut.)

Joe Silva’s hands have been full this week piling on fighters for UFC 87, and scrambling to replace them for UFC 85. First, the word on “Bedlam” (London, England; June 7th):

— Ryo Chonan has pulled out of his rematch with Roan Carneiro for unknown reasons. Replacing him will be Kevin “The Fire” Burns, a 4-1 UFC newcomer with possibly the cheesiest nickname we’ve ever heard. The UFC is doing Fire no favors by putting him against “Jucao,” who already boasts wins over Rich Clementi and Matt Horwich.

— Speaking of undercard bouts few people will care about, British fighter Neil Wain has broken his nose and won’t be able to face Antoni Hardonk. Filling in for him will be Eddie Sanchez, who has won his last two UFC matches against Soa Palelei and Colin Robinson, and will do his best to deal with fighting across the Atlantic Ocean on two weeks notice.

As for “Seek and Destroy” (August 9th; Minneapolis, MN):

— Frankie Edgar, who took his first career loss against Gray Maynard at UFC Fight Night 13, will be returning at UFC 87 against an opponent to be named later. With Sean Sherk indicating that he wants to be part of the first UFC card in his home state of Minnesota, an Edgar/Sherk bout isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

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10 Questions With Kaitlin Young

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(“I’m not a little girl by any means.”)

The hordes of screaming Gina “Crush” Carano fans who tune into the premiere of CBS’s “Saturday Night Fights” this weekend to see EliteXC’s poster girl kick some ass might be in for a seriously rude awakening. Carano’s opponent for the co-featured bout is Kaitlin Young, a 21-year-old Minnesota Martial Arts Academy product who famously knocked out three women in a one-night HOOKnSHOOT tournament last November; the combined fight time was just one minute and 45 seconds. We gave Kaitlin a call last night to ask her about rolling with dudes, the advantages she’ll have in her fight against Carano, and her shitty ’91 Honda Accord.

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CAGEPOTATO: We recently posted the video of your “Caveman Training” at Athletic Performance Incorporated. Be honest — they took they engine out of that pickup truck you were pulling, right?
KAITLIN YOUNG: No, everything was as-is, just as it came from the factory. Honestly, it’s not as hard as it looks. The wheelbarrow is the real killer.

When did you know you wanted to be a competitive fighter?
It’s really all I ever wanted to do. I did Olympic-style Tae Kwon Do starting when I was 14, and I’ve enjoyed the fighting arts ever since then.

Are there enough women at Minnesota Martial Arts Academy to spar and roll with, or do you usually have to train with the guys?
There are a couple of other girls, but it’s mostly guys that I’m training with at this point. Greg Nelson and Tom Schmitz help me a lot. My boyfriend Ryan Murray is a big heavyweight pro Thai boxer, so he helps me with striking and pads, and some of the wrestlers from the University of Minnesota have been working with me too.

What else do you do when you’re not training for a fight?
This semester I was a full-time student at the University of Minnesota, studying kinesiology — exercise science, which kinda fits in — and I also do a bit of strength and conditioning coaching on the side at API.

You took your first pro loss in February, against Sara Schneider at a BodogFight event. What do you think went wrong?
She did a good job executing her game plan, so I don’t want to take anything away from her, but I think I made the mistake of following a good grappler to the ground when I’m a striker. I was winning pretty decisively on the feet, and I tried to pound her out and got caught in an armbar.

How do you think you’ll apply that lesson to Gina Carano? She comes from a Muay Thai background, but she’s at least serviceable on the ground.

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Dana White “The White Don King”? No Way.

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Las Vegas Review Journal columnist Ed Graney took a swipe at Dana White last week in a column entitled “UFC head White: ‘The white Don King‘”. Dana White, as it turns out, did not care for that comparison. In an interview with Steve Cofield of ESPN Radio, White referred to Graney as a “moron”, and expressed his rage at the article thusly:

“Not only did he not compare me and Don King — because he couldn’t, okay, number one — but not only did he not compare us, he didn’t even interview me. He interviewed Tito, and then called me ‘the white Don King’. I live in Las Vegas. My kids go to school in this town. I grew up here. And you get one of these moron reporters who go out and write a half-assed story, this guy’s probably never even seen a fight in his life.”

White was subsequently informed that Graney has been to fights, and he is a columnist who writes opinion pieces. White then made it clear that his opinion was that Graney’s opinion “sucks.”

There are two things we should keep in mind here: 1) columnists don’t typically get to write their own headlines, so it’s slightly unfair to take him to task for a headline that makes a claim which isn’t really supported or even argued in the article, and 2) Graney invited that headline and that baseless comparison with one very dumb line that should have been cut entirely.

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UFC Gets Serious With Washington Lobbyists

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(You’re headed for a serious beatdown, democracy.)

You may recall that some weeks ago the UFC’s push to get MMA legalized in the state of New York involved an aggressive PR campaign and the help of lobbyists in the state capitol. Now it seems the UFC is pursuing that same strategy on a national level, enlisting the services of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck to help their cause in Washington D.C.:

Brownstein lobbyists don’t face any big fights on Capitol Hill. They say their mission is to let lawmakers know how far the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA), which combines karate, jiu-jitsu, boxing, kickboxing, wrestling and other forms of martial arts, has come.

“The sport that McCain objected to many years ago is really a sport that doesn’t exist anymore,” said Lawrence Epstein, general counsel for the UFC.”

“UFC is at the point where they are one of the fastest-growing sports leagues, and we want to make sure members of Congress are aware of the changes MMA has undergone,” said Makan Delrahim, a former top Justice Department official who is now a lobbyist at Brownstein Hyatt.

At first it seems odd to hire lobbyists just to make sure Congress is “aware of the changes”, and not to try and effect some type of change. After all, what’s the goal? If they aren’t trying to get a law passed or stop a law from being passed, why spend money on lobbyists? And then you read this:

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Videos: Forrest Griffin Interview, UFC 85 Promo + More


Our friend and content partner Ariel Helwani at MMARated just put up a great interview with Forrest Griffin, where the Ultimate Fighter coach and light heavyweight contender reveals that he’s been eating a lot of french toast lately, popping tons of valium, he really doesn’t care about TUF, and he digs Nick Cave, but not enough to actually pay for his music.


The official UFC 85: Bedlam trailer clip, featuring Matt Hughes, Thiago Alves, Michael Bisping, Jason Day, Brandon Vera, Fabricio Werdum, Nate Marquardt, Thales Leites, Marcus Davis, and Mike Swick.


HDNet Fights’ 86-minute “Best of 2008″ video; props to MMAScraps.

And also? You’re going to want to click that “More” link…

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Rothwell Confirms Affliction Bout With Arlovski

Andrei Arlovski FCF

The source for this one is a bit shaky, but Fightline is passing along news that Ben Rothwell will indeed be taking on Andrei Arlovski at Affliction: Banned (July 19th; Anaheim, CA) according to a Sherdog thread where Rothwell personally confirms it. As Rothwell writes:

I tried to never say if i was/was not fighting AA but most all the forum took it that way, sorry i guess.

anyway I’m excited to fight a top10 HW, so thanks for the support, peace

CagePotato reported this rumor two weeks ago, but there has been no official statement from the organization yet. Speaking of Arlovski, the Pitbull’s presence in an upcoming Adrenaline MMA meet-and-greet could suggest that he will fight for that outfit as well.

In other non-UFC news…

— HDNet has agreed to broadcast Adrenaline MMA’s first three fight cards. The first one is going down June 14th in Chicago (headlined by Jeff Monson vs. Mike Russow), and the second is slated for September 6th in Moline, Illinois, and will feature Tim Sylvia and Ben Rothwell; yep, just like the first Affliction show. Personally, we wouldn’t book Tim to fight less than two months after throwing down with Fedor Emelianenko, but hey, we’re not Monte Cox.

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